As you probably already know, just like other parts of our bodies, our teeth are prone to deterioration as we age. Because of foods we eat and things we drink, especially those with higher acidity levels, it’s common for the enamel on our teeth to wear. Tooth enamel can also wear over time due to plaque build-up from improper dental care. When a patient does not practice proper oral hygiene, he/she is much more susceptible to conditions such as bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and consequently tooth loss, all of which are caused by infections that occur due to a lack of optimal oral health.

While forgetting to brush your teeth one morning won’t ruin your smile, making it a constant habit can not only ruin your pearly whites, but poor oral health can also affect your overall health. Those with poor oral conditions are found to suffer from a variety of other conditions including oral cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular and respiratory health issues. Though they may seem unrelated and unconnected, all of these conditions have been linked back to poor oral hygiene.

Though it may seem obvious to some, what we eat truly plays a large role in the health of our teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to gum infections and tooth decay, especially if the teeth are not brushed on a daily basis. Foods high in carbohydrates are known to stick to the teeth longer than most foods which allows for a longer period of time for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms to produce harmful acid that erodes the teeth. Alcohol is also a factor in oral health as it can cause dehydration. Dehydration causes the mouth to become overly dry, which creates the perfect place for germs to find a home and spread.

Habits too, such as smoking and excessive drinking, also play a role in how healthy the mouth is. Smoking and chewing tobacco, in addition to increasing risk of cancer in the lungs, mouth, and throat, are known to be detrimental to oral health as tar, tobacco, and other ingredients within cigarettes can cause tooth damage and decay.

To ensure that your teeth stay at their optimal health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel. Don’t take your oral health for granted! Even if your teeth are beautiful at a glance, beautiful teeth aren’t likely to remain healthy and beautiful without a dentist’s help.